Have you ever wondered what really happened to the witch from Hansel and Gretel? You don’t really think she just disappeared after the story was over do you? Witches have a way of popping back up even when you think they are gone. In The Witch’s Guide to Cooking with Children, Keith McGowan gives us a modern update on what has happened to the witch in her last couple of hundred years.
The story opens with an excerpt from witch Holaderry’s journal. In it, we learn just how complex of a scheme this witch has in getting children she can cook for dinner. It seems that she makes it very convenient for today’s parents to easily hand over their children for her dining delight. From drop boxes outside movie theaters to her convenient “pick-up” service, Holaderry offers parents many options for handing over their kids. She knows that kids don’t just wander into the woods these days, and she has thought of every possible way to earn a meal.
This story lets us explore the witch’s thoughts through her journal, but it also focuses us in on one brother and sister and their story of trying to escape the clutches of the witch. This book is filled with sarcasm. If you like reading stories like Lois Lowry’s The Willoughbys or Lemony Snickett’s A Series of Unfortunate Events, then you will most likely enjoy this story. There is a lot of humor that can only be picked up if you are familiar with how sarcasm works.
This story also holds a lot of mystery for the reader to uncover. In fact, the author leaves many pieces of the story unanswered. Some might say that this is poor writing because by the end of the story, there are several loose ends of the plot still dangling in the air. Some readers might enjoy being able to imagine what might have happened to these loose ends, while others might get frustrated with this and not enjoy the story. I invite you to decide for yourself. Overall, I enjoyed reading this story and didn’t mind that there were pieces left untold. I will say that you should be familiar with the tale of Hansel and Gretel and know its German roots before you read this book.
Come check The Witch’s Guide to Cooking with Children out today and you might just start noticing things in your world that could be part of Holaderry’s plan to capture her evening meal!